imageThe wheel chair ramp with snow and ice on Good Friday

Today: sunny afternoon and +6 Celsius and much melting

most snow melted from driveway so I rolled down the ramp over the snow to bare concrete and up to the road continuing along to the row of outside green mailboxes

on the way back I ignored the ramp and tried the stairs up to the back deck

dragged the walker halfwAy up, my sis steadied it and I went to climb up

my right leg was weaker than I expected but I managed

it was the first time I have I have tried steps since my surgery, there has been no burning need — a good start to increased exercise



dialysis catch up

I have had my dialysis head down recently.   Things were not looking so great about a month, almost two months back.   More recently, treatments have been smooth.  Next week two tests on Tuesday and a third on Thursday should give more complete information.

My tactic to do what I could to help things was to concentrate on dropping some weight and watching my fluid intake like a French Foreign Legionaire crossing the desert.  Smaller food portions and as little salty food as possible.   As little processed food and cutting out junk food almost completely. So I have dropped about 14 kilograms.

about 18 months ago I was down to a whisper away from my weight during my university days, but let it creep way back up.  Now I am back down to within 9 kg of that recent low mark.

I hope the tests scire good news next week.

end of January dialysis notes

It is has not been the easiest of months, January 2014

Primarily the winter weather has been fierce, super cold temperatures as low as -32 degrees Celsius, lots of snow and blowing snow making the drive first thing in the dark of early morning difficult and stressful….

On the nuts and bolts of dialysis a few issues:

  • low blood pressures 120/nn dropping to 103/nn or even lower during the run, which means the nurse has to back off going for fluid, which means I do not get down to my target weight
  • weight increase which would normally mean higher blood pressure that I come in with but that has not been the case
  • leg cramps while sitting in the treatment chair, painful as heck
  • cramps in my legs after I have returned home, interrupting sleep
  • generally feeling worn down by all of this

on the plus side one more month done, so one month into the 12 months predicted at the period in which I will rise to the top of the transplant list.

three holes in bowling ball, an odd dialysis treatment

A little trouble to get started with dialysis treatment using my fistula today: two nurses worked it out though and I ended up with three holes not the usual two.  My pump speed was excellent 420-430 and I cleaned 106 litres.

coming down the pike:

  • anigoplasty to fix a narrowing in the fistula
  • trip to Toronto, for a final check on my healed heel
  • end of August surgery to remove most of my parathyroid glands
  • seems we have lost one of our dialysis patient team to home hemodialysis, this program is ramping up in this area of Ontario – I will miss yakking with him in the waiting room

parathyroid removal is common related to hemodialysis

hot time in the olde clinic today

temperatures this afternoon were in the 30s, with a higher number for humidex, perhaps 39 degrees Celsius

unfortunately,  the a/c unit for the clinic failed and both our afternoon crew and the morning crew fried

my dialysis is the longest at 4.5 hours, even though I wore shorts and a T-shirt, it was scalding in the dialysis chair, after forty minutes I was wondering if I mght pass out.  One of the nurses went down to the kitchen and came back with a resupply of ice.  I slipped ice chips down the front of my t-shirt, and later poured melted ice-water on to the washcloth that had been trying to cool me off with a dunk in some cold tap water.

The nurses looked pretty limp after the long oven shift, they were there from just before 7 am.

I asked one of the other dialysis patients if he was well done or just medium.

He said, “You can sure stick a fork in me.”

Repairs do not look iminent, apparently several electrical surges did the nasty to the electric motor and so Thursday patients both AM and PM will have a rough time.  The weather is supposed to breal cooler by Friday morning. I sure hope that cooler front does not slow down and arrives as forecast..  I  thought I might pass out or vomit from the heat, but I  dragged through.

There was an a/c problem last year.  The hospital was trumpeting how it balanced its budget.  I guess that didn’ include heavy duty preventive maintenance on that a/c unit, let alone a replacement.

One blessing, the rest of the hospital full mainly of geriatric patients, was a/c cooled all right, so those patients were comfortable.

heel progress report

“Fantastic,” said the plastic surgeon looking at the healing of my heel, excuse the redundancy of that. A ferociously difficult drive through the steady rain down from Georgian Bay to downtown Toronto to St. Michael’s Hospital.  It was like driving through a 100 mile long car wash. I really detest that dull silvery grey low visibility look like the inside of a dirty fish tank.  With   so much rain there was a ton of spray being whipped around by cars and trucks.  I managed to pry my fingers off the steering wheel in the parking lot and schlepped over to the hospital with my aircast on soaking my open to the elements socked left foot.  Must think of a plastic bag cover one of these days.  A bit of slough (dead tissue) removed and a follow up appointment for the 2oth just five days before the big red suited guy lands. Clinic staff exceptionally upbeat, cheery, and energetic without being at all annoying about that, which was refreshing.